Monday, February 1, 2010

Operator...

Oh could you help me place this call?

Actually, I don't need any help. I have the number. But should I use the number? And how often?

My girls are getting bigger. They understand their split custody situation, even if they don't know what the exact words mean. They understand that half the time they live at their dad's house, and the other half at their mom's. They've adapted to their divided situation and don't seem too bothered by it.

It used to be that the younger of the two would call me in tears, missing her life with mom, needing some long-distance mommy love. It also used to be that I'd call them on a regular basis and could tell that they were happy and excited to talk to me.

Well times they are a changing. They rarely call, and getting them on the phone at a good time is becoming increasingly difficult.

Although I still think they are happy to hear my voice, and often beg to talk to their stepdad, calling us does not seem to cross their minds right now; and because we don't know their weekend schedule, we often call duing the middle of a movie, or playdate, or when they're off at the beach.

So lately when they're setting off for four nights at their dad's house we remind them to call us. It's often the last thing I say to them before they climb up those school bus stairs, and they eagerly and enthusiastically agree.

In fact, the last thing Merrell did before the bus pulled away last Thursday morning was to blow me kisses and make the universal hand sign for "I'll call you," repeatedly.

But there was no call (sob).

No call on Thursday night, no call on Friday night. No call Saturday either. Well by Sunday, I can hardly stand it any longer, and exercise my right as their mother and call them.

No answer. I leave a message.

The older of the two returns the call, but I miss it. sigh.

I call back but they're watching a movie. They say they'll call when it's over. But they don't.

And I knew they wouldn't. And it's okay.

Children are masters of living in the moment, and when they're at their dad's house, they're at their dad's house. They're living that life at that moment.

It's good, and healthy, and right that they're not missing me, or their stepdad, or their baby sister. I know it is. But somewhere between childhood and middle age I outgrew the gift of living completely in the moment.

And although I try my best, and have also adapted well to those four night stretches without them, I still wait for that phone to ring.

8 comments:

XUP said...

Aw...it must be tough on all of you. But don't you feel better knowing they're comfortable and happy enough not to have to call you, missing you??

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Absolutely, I do, XUP. They're happy in both worlds. That's definitely what I want for them.

I'm the adult, so I can, and do (for the most part), refrain from calling them.

b

rarely gets phone calls in PA said...

you can always call me :)

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Awww, that's a tough one. Is it harder when they neeeeeeed you, or when they don't? Do they call Daddy when they are at your house? I'll bet you remind them to call, and that might just be the answer. On the rare nights when I'm not with my kids (the grass is always greener), we have an agreement to give a goodnight call. Even though they're usually watching tv and not really paying attention to me, I like to just hear their voices, and know that they hear mine.And I usually have to remind them of a thousand little things that their dad will forget ;)

Jacquie

NucMEd is Hot said...

Ahhhhh, Beth, I feel ya on this one. My daughter calls her dad all the time and cries if he doen't answer, then will forget to call me when she goes for the weekend. I chooseto look at it like she doesn't fear that I love her, she just knows it.

Still sucks though.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Thanks, NucMEd, I appreciate it.

Actually the girls are just the same about calling their dad when they're with us. And if they miss his call, they rarely want to call him back either.

I think it's pretty healthy for them, a way of not missing any parent, because they simply focus on the parent(s) they're with at the time.

Or I could be completely wrong :-)

Beth

Kathi D said...

Awwwwwww. Maybe they just aren't phone talkers. I avoid the phone as much as possible--who knows why, but I just hate it! It may be my ADD--I always think I'm going to say the wrong thing just to fill a tiny silence, or agree to something, or . . . it's nuts, yes it is.

Anonymous said...

Beth, you can always call your mother too!

and Nonnie doesn't get much precious phone time either...it is wonderful that they are so happy and comfortable in whatever life they are leading at the moment.
Pat/MOM